a Cross Country Rider
from Moreno Valley, Ca
Date Reviewed: March 13, 2012
Strengths: Real serious mountain bike, adult quality components all around. Durable. Lightweight, proportional to child's weight. Disc brakes. Designed with a child in mind. Customer service is Professional, Precise, Prompt and Preferred!
Weaknesses: The fork shock could be better even if that would increase cost. Wish there were moer color choices but thats totally understandable.
You not only get more than what you pay for, you actually get a bike that a child will desire to ride, often. It is truly such a quality bike all around that the child can manipulate (control) easily and not vice versa, this makes the whole experience much more enjoyable and a lifetime investment. Children learn better when the experience is fun so an Ibex over a "Huffy" is an obvious no brainer. If cost is really an issue then consider this... I have had several purchase offers for more than half of what I paid on the 320k, so actually when (if) I sell it the actual cost will be that of a "Huffy" if not less so thats a steal while the experience will have been priceless.
Favorite Trail: Almost anything in Utah & Colorado
Duration Product Used: More than 3 years
Purchased At: Ibex.com
Similar Products Used: Have the 320k, still from 2005 and it still operates as if i brought it yesterday with only minor adjustments and tune ups. This was passed on to my 5 yer old who started riding it last year and loves it, shes excited about joining us on real dirt trails this summer in Utah and Colorado in search of deer. Our 2 year old is next in line, wish Ibex made a balance bike so she cud get on a two wheeler sooner.
Bike Setup: Do your self a favor and check out the Ibex website for specs and compare. No immediate upgraqdes necessary.
a Cross Country Rider
from Salt lake city, Utah, usa
Date Reviewed: July 17, 2011
Strengths: Good quality bike. Works great out of the box. Gears are working with no adjustment. Tires are true. Easy to handle for my 9&10 year olds. Excellent packaging.
I am glad that I purchased this bike. I have a 4 year old 320k that is as good as the day I bought it. My son outgrew it and I bought an motobecane 13" with 26" wheels. Way too big. The 440k will work for him for about 4 years. The 24" tires are great. So far street rides only but the 320k worked great for him on rocky single track. The rear derailer was too close to the ground but never bent. The 440k is about 30lbs and my son weighs 53lbs. I am concerned with climbing. I will try to post an update.
This bike was good to go out of the box. If the price was a bit less I would of picked up 2 for my 9&10 year olds. This is my third ibex.
a Weekend Warrior
from Belmont, CA, US
Date Reviewed: June 7, 2009
Strengths: Amazing value! Excellent components, very good build quality. I could not be happier with this purchase!
Weaknesses: Stock trigger shifters were too stiff/had too much tension for my son to activate; had to swap in grip shifters. NOT A BIG DEAL.
Pre-ordered the bike in mid-February from Ibex. Received it May 20. In a word: Wow! It is a very sweet bike. The overall fit and finish are excellent. It comes mostly assembled -- the front wheel, seat, pedals and handlebar need to be mounted, but these are very easy to do, and the bike comes with the correct tools to complete the assembly if you don't already have them in your toolbox. (The handlebar has the shifters and brake levers already mounted, so it just needs to be attached to the stem.)
Once assembled, I spent a few hours going through the brakes and shifters and getting those dialed in. I would expect to have to do this on any newly purchased bike assembled overseas, as the drivetrain is typically not properly adjusted out of the box. I'm also a tinkerer at heart.
The drivetrain components are Shimano (a mix of Alivio and Deore), and the quality is excellent for a bike in this price range, and almost unheard of for a kid's bike; you're not going to confuse these components with those from the XTR gruppo, but they are real components, in standard sizes, and of a very acceptable quality level. The shifters required a bit of adjustment to shift crisply, but this wasn't a big deal. After running the gears and chainstay length through a chain length calculator, I elected to remove a link of the chain, shortening it from 54" to 53". The net result of these adjustments is a bike that rides shifts accurately and crisply.
[Update: after the first ride, we discovered the stock shifters were too stiff for my 8 year old to operate. I picked up some SRAM MTX Comp gripshifters for ~$20, and installed those instead. Much better for my son, much easier for him to shift.]
The brakes (F+R mechanical discs!) are an off-brand, but they seem well made, with (again) an appropriate number of adjustment points. Our bike's brakes rubbed a bit on initial assembly, but I was able to adjust the pads to spread them out (using the pad adjustment set screw, not the cable adjustment), and the wheels now spin without contact.
The other components are quite good -- the wheels and hubs are lightweight alloy pieces, the frame is hardened 6160 AL tubing, with nice welds and a mono-stay rear end. The bike weighs a very respectable ~26 lbs! In fact, the only component I'm not super thrilled with is the front fork, but given the price point they were shooting for, I'm not sure what else they could have done, as a "decent" fork would have completely blown their $400 pricepoint.
On the whole, I couldn't be happier with this purchase! I would recommend this to anyone who is looking for a quality mountain bike for their child. Even though it is larger, it's significantly lighter than our son's previous bike, a 20" Diamondback. We live in a very hilly area, so the lighter weight and improved gearing made a HUGE difference to our son. We went for a ride today that had him climbing real hills, a mix of fire roads and city streets, up and down, and he tore it up! And this was his first real ride on this bike! This bike has such a wide and practical gear range, and it so stable and forgiving, he was able to climb hills he could never have climbed on his old Diamondback. He was thrilled, and still beaming about the ride after dinner.
Similar Products Used: 2007 Diamondback Boy's 20"/6 speed
Bike Setup: Stock 2009 Ibex 440k, substituted SRAM grip shifters for the stock trigger shifters.
a Cross Country Rider
from Meadow Vista, CA
Date Reviewed: February 15, 2007
Strengths: Frame and components
Weaknesses: Not available when I was a kid
First of all, I agree with everything said by the other reviewers. This is a real mountain bike and putting it together is not much harder than fixing a flat.
The real testimony comes from my kids. My kids (aged 5 and 8) have been riding for several years now and we're always trying out harder and harder trails. I've been disappointed in the bikes they have and started to look for new bikes to get them on. I was surprised at the garbage that is available for kids. It seems that many manufacturers believe that children need 30lb bikes with bad brakes, no front derailleur (or just a double), hard shifting and no suspension. It's no surprise that I don't run into more kids on the trails, I'd stay away too! Anyhow, thanks to the other reviewers here I found Ibex. A triple in the front, components from manufacturers I recognize, a 24" bike and a weight that is useful. I can be a gearhead just like the rest of you all here so after I ordered the bikes (a 320k for my 5 year old and a 440k for my 8 year old) I started getting fired up about how great they would be able to ride when the bikes arrived. Even with these high expectations, the bikes delivered more than I expected. My kids’ abilities and interest in riding have increased enormously. Hills that they previously would have walked up they are now riding, single track sections they are taking with much greater confidence and finesse than before. As a dad, and particularly a dad who wants to get out on the trails myself, it’s really exciting.
What is really comes down to is a decision that most of you reading this review have already made for yourself. You know that you will get more riding out of a nice bike than you will from a tank you but at Walmart. You’ll get more miles/dollar from one of these than you will from a lesser bike.
Favorite Trail: Clementine, Hole in the Ground, Tahoe Rim
Duration Product Used: Less than 1 month
Purchased At: www.ibexbikes.com
Similar Products Used: Specialized, Giant
Bike Setup: As delivered
a Cross Country Rider
from phoenix, AZ
Date Reviewed: February 2, 2007
Strengths: We purchased this 2007 24" Alpine for $299 during the IBEX pre-launch special in Dec-06. Bike shipped on the day they promised via FedEx Ground. Packaged VERY well. Some assy of pedals, stem, seatpost, wheels... and ready to ride. Only adjustments required were the v-brakes. This bike is an incredible value plus it inspires confidence in my young son. He's 10 and was tired of using his single-speed BMX'er on trails. Great components. Quality workmanship. Feels so light too and shifts cleanly - unlike most toystore kid multispeed bikes. This is a REAL mtb!!
Weaknesses: The Grind fork is lame'o by an adult's standard. But, for a young rider, it works great absorbing the bumps they throw at it. Any more elaborate fork = higher price + more weight. IBEX made the right compromise here.
There is NO equal available for the money. We also considered the Scott Scale line-up from a local Phoenix shop. The Scale RC Jr. is the best bike, but the $990 tag disqualifies it from a practicality standpoint. The local shop was willing to come down from $450 msrp to $299 on the Scale Jr 24" - but the IBEX kicks its butt on features anyway. In the derailleur category: the IBEX is 1 Shimano level higher on the rear, and 2 Shimano levels higher on the front. Most other features are the same, (ie.. aluminum frame, low-end fork, etc.) That is exactly the reason why Internet vendors can offer more value - no dealer margin to add in. It's the Dell business model for bikes. The IBEX is a clear winner all around. No risk in the fact your kid can't ride it around first - they will be so excited to open the box and help you put it together. Enjoy!!
Similar Products Used: Diamondback Aluminum BMX bike
Bike Setup: Added WTB saddle, H2O bottle cage.
Date Reviewed: September 19, 2006
Strengths: Almost everything. Frame, componets, replaceable derailluer hanger, dual quick release wheels, real shifters, deore R.D., short cranks. WOW!!!
Weaknesses: The RST fork sucks. But there is nothing on the marktet to replace it with. Good news, it is sprung for a lighter rider. The kid was like, "dosen't it go higher", but the last suspension fork he saw was mine, a 120mm Marzocchi.
If you love to mountain bike, and you love your kid, buy this bike. It's just like a quality entry level hardtail, only smaller. It even has disk brake mounts. Replaceable derailluer hanger. It's not light, but WAY lighter than the neighbors Huffy. Stuff breaks? Standand MTB parts. You could even get goofy and put XT stuff on here. It all fits. If you love to ride, and don't want to put your kid on crap, buy this or the smaller one. 9 flaming chilis' here.
Similar Products Used: Huffy crap. Disney Princess.
Bike Setup: Stock. And stock is sweet for the price paid.
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: July 17, 2006
Strengths: Components 1 level higher than competitors Well assembled
Weaknesses: Like all 24" wheeled bikes, still a little heavy
Bought for my 8 year old son, after looking at competing products from major manufacturers ...
Ordered online on Wed, arrived Friday. Bike was EXCEPTIONALLY well packed, tons of bubble wrap, tape, cardboard. Arrived without a scratch!
Assembly? Simple. Put on front wheel, seatpost (seat already on), pedals and handlebars. That's it. Took longer to unpack than assemble. Had my son take a spin, was ready to spend 1/2 hour adjusting brakes / shifting. NO NEED - bike was way dialed in. Whoever put this together at IBEX knew what they were doing.
The package includes a 6061 Aluminum frame that looks suspiciously like the older Schwinn custom "Home Grown" line. Quality frame with triple top cable routing, nice welds. Components are Shimano Alivo which work well (my daughter has 'em on a RockHopper which cost $150 more). Components not named are mostly Kalloy - good, servicable, reasonably light. Some nice touches - rear derailleur is upgraded to Deore. Headset is a sweet Cane Creek. Bike comes with a multitool and multi-wrench included. AND, all the shimano instructions were included also, nice when it comes time to tune ...
Overall, I think that the Ibex is a GREAT deal. My son did a 32 mile ride the next day, no probs. My only "complaint" would be that I still wish kids bikes were a little lighter. This one comes in about 25 lbs, the competing HotRock was about 27, the Trek even heavier. The only lightwight kid's bike I could find was the Scott RC Junior TEAM ISSUE. Sweet bike, with double butted frame and some 24 spoke wheels.. The Scott was a very respectable 22 lbs. BUT, at $900, in a way different price league than the $330 IBEX. My son is growing like a weed, was hard to rationalize spending $900 for a bike that he'd only ride for 2-3 years ...
My only suggestion to IBEX is would be to make a TEAM ISSUE verson of the 440K, for $150 to $250 more I'd bet they could drop into the 22-23 lb range as well. Certainly not a "mass market" item, but I'd bet would do great via online sales ...
Don't get me wrong though, this is a GREAT deal. My son is super-happy, and in the end that's what matters when you're buying a KID's bike.
Similar Products Used: Specialized HotRock, GT, Trek, Scott
Bike Setup: Stock
from Ithaca ny
Date Reviewed: November 4, 2005
Strengths: Good components for the money. The frame quality appears very good. Ibex was very good with shipping and communication. Probably the best for the money out there.
Weaknesses: Well ,I was wondering how they got this bike so light before I ordered it. A light frame only weighs about 3 1/2 lbs and I was suspicious that with the components offered, even with the 24" wheels that it could weigh 24.7 lbs without pedals. Well, same ole weight lies as most other companys in the bike biz. This bike weighs in at a hefty 27.7 lbs without pedals reflectors or supplied kicktand.
Worth $299? Yes Would I buy it again? Probably not since I was looking for a light weight bike for my aspiring xc racer of 8.I did email them about the weight and here is what the said per quote. Mr. Stabler,
We calibrate our scales and we stand by our posted weights. If you are unhappy with the bike you are welcome to return it in accordance with the terms and conditions of our return policy. I can issue you an RMA number on Monday to get the process started. I doubt that you will find a better bike or a lighter weight bike for the money, but I wish you the best of luck in doing so.
Bike Setup: Stock for now. Im goin through my parts boxes and try to get this thing lightened up a tad.
a Cross Country Rider
from Sandy, Utah, USA
Date Reviewed: October 12, 2005
Strengths: real mountain bike components, frame is light and strong, wheels exceeded my expectations, good looking. Trigger shifters. Fits my 10 year old great.
Weaknesses: only one I can think of is not too many color options, but who really cares.
This is a real mountain bike for kids. I love mountain biking, have a great bike for me, wanted something good for my son who is 10, not big enough for 26" tires, so I checked all the good brands for a kids mountain bike with 24" tires, Specialized, Trek, K2, Giant. They all had cheap components, and cost almost as much as the IBEX Alpine. The IBEX Alpine has 24" inch tires with a Deore rear derailleur, and Alivio front and trigger shifters. The fork is good, and the wheels are awesome. By far the best bike available with 24" tires. I was so impressed by it I bought one for my 9 year old daughter, she may not mountain bike much, but it is so much better than any other 24" bike, and doesn't cost that much more. These are real mountain bikes for 8-12 year olds. Will probably buy the 20" tire Alpine for my 6 year old. Compare components with all the big name brands for their 24" tire bikes, and you will buy the IBEX. Don't buy a 26" bike that is too big that they will "grow into" because all the other kids bikes are crap, this is a good bike.
Similar Products Used: Specialized, Trek, K2, and Giant
Bike Setup: As is, no need to upgrade anything. I did switch the pedals to clipless for my son.
a Cross Country Rider
from Lexington, KY
Date Reviewed: October 5, 2004
Strengths: Components, weight
The bottom line is that there are no other real kids mountain bikes out there (O.K. maybe Specialized and Trek have decent models, they just didn't fit my 8 year old's measurements as well). I have been on the trails twice now with my eight year old. He can actually keep control and climb hills on this bike because it is light and maneuverable. There is no way he could do that on the 50 pound kids' bikes being passed off as "mountain bikes" at the department stores. Why don't all of the good bike manufacturers make kids mountain bikes?? How do they expect to grow the market for mountain bikes?? Oh well, their loss is Ibex' gain. Buy this bike if you want to take your kid on the trails. You won't regret it.
a Weekend Warrior
from Rock Hill SC
Date Reviewed: September 17, 2004
Strengths: Quality components,frame and paint. Great customer service. Rear skewer was damaged during shipping(thanks to UPS) called and (Jack)said he would take care of it for me.
Weaknesses: none so far
Purchased the bike for my eight year old.It's for Christmas but I bought early wanting to get the Blue over the Yellow.Ordered on a Thursday and it was at my house on Monday. Put it together last light.It's as easy as described on their website. Everything took less than twenty minutes. I cant wait for him to try it out so he can see the difference between a quality bike and what hes been riding. I'll post another review after Christmas and a few times on the trail.